Arts

 “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer’s affectionate documentary opening Aug. 17 at the Ritz at the Bourse profiles Scott Bowers, a pimp for stars in Hollywood’s Golden Age who wanted same-sex sex. His client list reportedly included Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and many others.

    From mid-August to early September, Rehoboth Beach is a resort town with a wild lineup of events.
    First up, on Aug. 12, is the 8th Annual CAMP Rehoboth Bachelor Auction. Professional auctioneer Lorne Crawford will keep the bidding rolling for the roster of bachelors donating their time and talents to raise money for the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center.
    The auction takes place from 5-7 p.m. (at Aqua Grill, 57 Baltimore Ave.) with CAMP Rehoboth board president Chris Beagle and emcee and drag-queen extraordinaire Fancie P. Charmington assisting in the fun.
    This year’s impressive lineup will again feature a bachelorette, several of Aqua’s finest servers and local gents modeling swimsuits. Winning bidders will receive gift certificates to one of Rehoboth’s finest restaurants. It’s fast, it’s fun and here’s a teaser: Don’t miss the opening.
    With hazy, lazy, crazy beach days on tap, Poodle Beach at the far southern end of the Rehoboth boardwalk offers gorgeous scenery of sand, surf and otherwise. There are boardwalk treats such as fried chicken from Gus & Gus, ice cream from Starkey’s and arcade action at Playland.
   After a day on the sand, visitors can freshen up and head into town for the entertainment. The Purple Parrot, Blue Moon, Murphs, Café Azafran, Rigby’s Shorebreak and more offer live entertainment by local luminaries John Francis Flynn, Holly Lane, Bettanroo, the Girlfriends, Viki Dee, Matt Kenworthy and more. Dance parties abound at Restaurant G, Diego’s Hideaway and The Swell.
    For anyone bringing a pup or two to the beach, Diego’s Hideaway offers Yappy Hours 3-8 p.m. daily. The dogs have treats and water bowls while their humans have cocktails and everybody socializes.
    On Labor Day weekend, the sizzling summer culminates in the party of the year. Sundance, a two-night event held annually by CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, typically hosts more than 1,500 people at the extravaganza Saturday and Sunday night.
 This 31st annual event, titled “Sundance 2018—Rainbow XXXI: In the Name of Love” takes place Sept. 1-2 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. That normally staid location will be decorated to the hilt with flowing fabric, bright colors, rainbow attitudes and a magnificent ambiance.
    On Saturday evening, amid bright lights, music, gourmet refreshments and an open bar, a silent live auction will feature more than 600 items, typically filled with spectacular trips, original artwork and jewelry. Come for the food, drink and bidding fun, plus the spectacle of bidding wars and happy warriors walking away with their loot.
    On the second night of Sundance, the room becomes a hot NYC-style dance club, with stunning lighting effects by legendary designer Paul Turner with DJ/Remixer Joe Gauthreaux’s signature club sound. New this year is a Disco Twilight Tea with famed Studio 54 and The Saint DJ Robbie Leslie. You can dance from 7:30-9:30 p.m. to nostalgic disco hits and keep going until 2 a.m. with the high-energy dance party. For the price of one ticket, enjoy two dance events and an amazing party.
    As if that’s not enough activity for a weekend, on Sunday afternoon comes the annual drag volleyball game on Poodle Beach. Thousands of onlookers gather to watch the two longtime volleyball squads, mostly but not exclusively men, make their costumed entrances.
    What began as a volleyball pick-up game on Poodle Beach in 1988 has turned into a Labor Day tradition. This year, might we expect political satire as the athlete-drag queens play and perform to a diverse crowd? These volleyball players can rock the court as athletes and spike the ball in their spiked heels.
    It’s really something to see in the afternoon before cleaning up and heading back to the Convention Center for the dance party.
    The annual CAMP Rehoboth Sundance is one of the highlights of the summer season. Tickets for the auction, the dance or both are available at camprehoboth.com. The bachelor auction has no cover and, of course, watching volleyball on the beach, like the best things in life, is free.

    The compelling new documentary, “McQueen” opening at the Landmark Ritz Five on Aug. 10, recounts the rollercoaster life and career of the late, great, out gay designer Lee Alexander McQueen. In five chapters, co-directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui trace the subject’s humble origins and phenomenal rise to the top of the fashion industry. According to revealing interviews with family members, collaborators and boyfriends, McQueen was passionate, focused and romantic — and not afraid to shock. One naughty runway show, titled “The Highland Rape,” generated headlines for featuring nudity, violence against women and pubic hair. His mantra was, “Be as different as you can,” and as “McQueen” illustrates, his daring paid off handsomely. He secured a job as chief designer at Givenchy (where he treated his staff like equals) while also designing his eponymous line. His risqué shows, prominently featured in the doc, were spectacles. Watch as two robots “paint” Shalom Harlow modeling a white dress, or his Voss show, featuring one-way mirrors and moths, and try not to be wowed. “McQueen” will also wow viewers who want to marvel at the outrageous couture and extraordinary silhouettes. The filmmakers address the designer’s personal demons: He became unhappy as a celebrity, and the pressure to achieve — along with drug use, surgeries (to look thinner) and even an HIV diagnosis — took a toll on his life. Lonely and depressed, he eventually took his life. While “McQueen” may be a mix of hagiography and cautionary tale, the film — like the designer’s shows — generates real emotions.

Everybody who knows me knows that I am more than a little enamored with our upstairs geographic neighbor. Being a comedian, I get to spend a considerable amount of time in Canada every year. If you’ve never been there, I suggest you visit, you know … before these ham-fisted Trump tariffs mess it up for everybody.

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